Riverview Ranch & Resort

Horse Ranch and petting farm

Horseback Rides and Petting Zoo.

By Appointment only.

We cater to kids and beginners who want to go slow.

No Trail Rides. We may allow free rein riding on a case by case basis with demonstrated proficiency.

Ask about taking lessons or leasing a horse if you want to go faster than a walk.
200 lb. weight limit.

Outdoor Pony Rides
Whatever the weather, there are always fun things to do at the ranch. Our 24,440 square foot equestrian center has a 60' x 160' indoor riding arena for riding on rainy days, and lots of animals for your family to meet in the indoor stables.

Get to Know our 7 full size Horses, Miniature Horse, 3 Dogs, 2 Goats, Miniature Pigs, Guinea Pigs, chickens, ducks, Unicorns*, and Turtles.

Horseback Riding, Petting Zoo, Boating,
or any Combination.

Liability waiver required for all activities. ALL ADULTS MUST SIGN - whether riding or not! If you won't sign the waiver, please don't come onto the propterty.

Max Group size: 6 persons.
(Everyone over two years old who comes onto the property is counted in the group total, whether riding or not)
Pricing, Options, and FAQs
We accept: Cash, Venmo, Visa, Discover, Mastercard.

Call to reserve a time at 815-776-9945 - off or 608-331-0000 - cell.

Guests staying in our Resort can pet the wandering zoo any time the animals are available and may pet horses over the fence, but may not enter horse enclosures unescorted. The pig and dogs wander in and out of the lobby often. The goats, chickens, and ducks wander all around outside.
"Guided" petting zoo includes petting the horses in the pasture or arena under a Wrangler's supervision, hand-feeding chickens, meeting the ducks, petting the pig and goats.
Wrangler Roger will give safety instructions and teach kids how to approach animals safely. It is best (safer) to come as a family unit. Kids tend to be more responsive to safety instructions when both parents are nearby. If visitors do not respond to safety instructions we will limit or discontinue the experience.

Therapeutic Horseback Riding (THR) and Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) have been shown to be beneficial to humans.

Galena Dude Ranch & Farm Stay

Just being around horses can decrease anxiety, increase self-esteem, and provides "excitement without stress." The sciense is very interesting and compelling.

"Peacefully interacting with horses may move people to a heightened receptive state that enhances non-verbal communication."

Read more

Meet Our Critters

Say hello to Obelix, our brand new baby miniature pig. Born on Feb 7, 2022. Bessie has adopted "Obi" and follows him around like he is her own pup. Click the picture above to watch 2 month old Obi dreaming of food. Toooo Cute.

This 3 min video shows what you can expect when meeting the horses and goats in the pasture guided petting zoo. I recommend wearing sturdy shoes for this. If you wear open toe shoes around horses don't let them step on your toes.

Petting Farm
Take Bullseye, the mini-horse, for a family walk down beautiful River Road. Clippity clop clippity clop.

Petting Farm
Put a chicken on your shoulder and see your family's faces light up.

Petting Farm
Meet Aflac, Bflac, and Matilda. Did you know a male duck is called a drake and a female duck is called a duck? Aflac and Bflac are drakes and Matilda is a duck. Also pictured here are our young hens Carmel, Featherly, Speckles, and Sunshine.

Petting Farm
Christmas is big like Texas around here. Amazing decorations planned for 2022. Nala, the mini dacshund, can't wait. Please, please, please watch out for the little dogs as you arrive and when you back out of your parking spot. They like to sit or stand behind car tires in driver blind spots.


New Arrivals: Our guinea pig, Penelope, gave birth to three healthy and super cute baby guinea pigs on 10/24/2020.

Galena Dude Ranch & Farm Stay
We have a miniature pig named Ferkelchen, born on 8/7/20. Her nickname is Kiki. This pig has been described as "Too Cute for this World." Also shown here is our Yorkie, Pepper.

Galena Dude Ranch & Farm Stay
Kiki loves food. You will see her wandering around looking for an unsecured bag of chicken food, duck food, horse food, dog food, or people food anywhere she can find it, including bags of trash carelessly left on the floor. But sometimes she likes to take a break from her strenuous search to enjoy a nice belly rub. If she plops over on her side in front of you she is saying she trusts you, and wants you to rub her tummy.

Petting zoo
Max, the Rooster, likes to Cocka-Doodle-Doo (Ki-kiri-ki in German). Strupel, the hen, lays green eggs for us.

Petting Zoo
The animals are often kept in the stalls. The goats, pig and dogs walk in and out of the horses' stalls and pastures.

Petting Farm
Our German Shepard, Bessie, keeps an eye on our menagerie rapscallion, Baltazaar the goat.

Chick on her shoulder This Mom has a chick on her shoulder.

Unicorn in Flight
Super Pig breaking the Snooze Barrier

Unicorn in Flight
F/A-18 breaking the Sound Barrier.

Liability Waiver
When you enter the barn you will see a poster of the Illinois Equine Activity Liability Act
Guests are not allowed in the barn or any of the horse enclosures unless escorted by a wrangler. Guests are asked not to enter any of the spaces labeled "private." These are the owner's living quarters and office.

Our Horses

Outdoor Pony Rides
Evening Feeding: Walk among and pet our horses while they calmly finish their dinner.

Outdoor Pony Rides
Our miniature horse "Bullseye" is sweet and wonderful with kids. He loves to have his mane combed and brushed. Foaled - April, 2009.

Horseback riding in Galena
Aiyasha - American Saddlebred / Akal Teke mix. Sweet and Beautiful. Gelding. Dam (Mother): Aiyana, Sire: Pascha (Nez Perce Dreamer) Inseparable from Aiyana, his Mommy. Foaled - April, 2007. Aiyasha is very gentle and loves to be petted, just like all our horses. We have trained the horses to allow small animals like goats, dogs, miniature pigs and small humans, to walk among them safely. We give guests a safety lecture before allowing them to enter horse enclosures. Guests are not allowed to enter horse enclosures unless they are accompanied by a wrangler. We plan guest visits around the feeding schedule so horses are always relaxed and well fed when guests enter their domain. We do not allow guests to hand-feed the horses unless specifically allowed and supervised by a wrangler, and never when guests are inside the horse enclosure.

Pony ride on a unicorn horse
*Two of our horses have rare blue eyes. We have troll friends who sell us pixie dust to magically transform a horse into a unicorn on special occasions. Pictured here is Lacy, our youngest Transformer-Unicorn. Lacy is a Quarter Horse / Akal Teke mix. Dam (Mother): Sisi, Sire (Father): Pascha (Nez Perce Dreamer) Foaled - July 2009.

blue eyed horse *Starsky is our other blue eyed horse. - Quarter Horse, Gelding. Dam (Mother): Sisi, Sire (Father): Sir Buck n Skip Foaled - 4/14/06

Ride a Transformer Horse Unicorn
Starsky (Star Skipper) can become a Unicorn for $20.

Unicorn in Flight
Warning: Flying on a Unicorn is considered extremely adventurous, so we do not allow children to ride our Unicorns in flight except in cases of extreme imagination;)

horses in petting zoo
We have eight horses. Come pet them while they vie for your affection from their stalls.

horseback ride no trail rides on Starbuck
Spirit - (Cool Starbuck) Quarter Horse - Dam (Mother): Sisi, Sire (Father): Sir Buck n Skip Foaled - 4/11/07

Friesian horse rides and petting farm, Valiant
Valiant Star - Friesian/Quarter Horse sport horse. Mare Dam (Mother): Sisi, Sire (Father): Von Faust. Valiant is black in winter and bleaches dark brown in summer. Foaled - 4/18/05

Rosie loves horse grooming
Rosalie (Rosie) Throoughbred/American Saddlebred sport horse. Mare. Dam (Mother): Aiyana, Sire (Father): Movin to the Music Foaled - April, 2007. We named our horse after a very dear family friend, Rosalie Joy Neckels, who passed away too young.

Aiyana boss mare horse riding
Aiyana - American Saddle Bred. Smooth riding gaited mare. Boss of the Herd. Foaled - 4/18/99. Aiyana is pictured here observing our lobby through the Peoplearium we have provided for the horses' amusement. Also pictured here is Sabina observing horses through the Equuarium in our lobby. Bringing the horses into our lobby through this unique plexiglass window helps us bond with the horses and helps them relate to us as part of the herd.

More photos showing what we do at Riverview Ranch.


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